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My mother is an INFJ and I have a good friend who is INFP and both seem to get a bit of an ego trip over the fact that people tell them their personal stories. The INFP friend almost makes it seem like she has a special power that makes people tell her secrets they would usually keep to themselves. But I personally don't think this is any special power...Rather INFX types are usually the only ones who show such an interest in others' feelings and personal situations so that is why people tell them stuff. The quiet and sensitive aura also draws people in pain.

I've come to learn that having people tell you everything isn't the best position to be in. Usually, those people feel like best friends while they are telling you their life story, but afterwards they may regret it and distrust you because they wonder why you would want to know so much about them. Just because you feel close to somebody when you are trading life stories, doesn't necessarily mean they will end up a good friend. Often times they define a good friend as somebody they've known for years and years, even if they never discuss their true feelings together. Once they are over their issue and problem or are just in a jolly mood they have no use for you.

I used to feel some pride that people told me their innermost thoughts, but now I would rather be that person that others call when they want to go out and have a good time. One man I know has almost always avoided me except right after his father died and then he came to me to tell me all about it. But then the very next week he went back to kind of avoiding me again. I'd rather be the fun buddy than the good therapist any day.
 

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Yes , i agree with you , i have similar situations from time to time. I don´t think people avoid you after telling their secret because of distrust it could also be more of a shame or guilt for telling their innermost.Also mostly friends or people i know come to me if they want someone who listen to them or need the attention. I also tried to redirect the situation a bit in a more let´s do something funny way etc... but mostly it won´t work. I don´t mind it quite when people do that but mostly afterwards i feel responsible or I wish to help etc.. and also getting an awkward feeling the hole day because i can´t concentrate on other things which need to be done. I barley speak about myself with other people so they mostly have the dominant factor and when themes and interests go out they don´t mind starting to talk about them self or important matters for most of the time. I do think it happens mostly because oneself is to passive too.
 

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I'll be the first to admit that yes, there is a bit of pride in knowing that other people will turn to me for help or that they feel comfortable enough to confide in me things that they have a hard time admitting to themselves, so much as other friends who maybe are close, but don't have that purpose in their lives. I have always been a sounding board for people, and I don't mind it. I would rather that they have at least one person they know they can turn to rather than holding everything inside.

Then again, I've also worked in a field where I want to make sure people feel safe and know that I will not judge them, that I will listen, and that I care about them for several years now. Essentially, I have put myself in a position where I can use the fact that my INFx personality can be put to perfect use and yeah, I can feel good about that.

At the same time, it does make it that much more draining when it's some random stranger who shares their life rather than a friend or patient. I'm already spending a lot of energy encouraging people to confide in me, and while I like encouraging it in that sense, I really don't want to have it be a daily thing outside of work as well. Hope that makes sense, sorry if it doesn't.
 
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An INFJ I know does that, too. I don't get an ego trip so much as I find it odd, amusing, and good. Odd because sometimes I wonder, "Why are you telling me this? What did I do to get these stories?" Amusing because sometimes people don't realize while they're doing it that they'll telling me secrets and life stories; they feel completely comfortable at the time, but not so comfortable afterwards. Good because a lot of people need the release, so I may as well listen as non-judgmentally as I can since a lot of other people wouldn't be a good sounding board.

It's not that I want people to tell me these things... They just do. So I've come to accept it, for the most part. A lot of INFs get the same reaction. Somehow we possess a "trusting" aura, I suppose. Whether or not it's a bad thing or something to take pride in is dependant on the individual. Personally, I don't think it's something to boost the ego, but maybe something to comment on jokingly.
 

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Rarely do I take pride in -hearing- the stories as 9/10 I don't feel a personal connection to this person. I will still be genuinely interested in what they have to say, but more so within the context of understanding more about the people around me (directly/indirectly).

Many people are leeches and will cling onto any warm body that sits still for too long. If you let them, they'll suck the life out of you and I don't care who you are, it will inevitably drain you. Some are willing to make that sacrifice even knowing that, but they're only a short term fix because you will only give them immediate gratification, but soon enough they'll be hungry again.

With that in mind, the only thing I take pride in is being able to persuade the individual in a certain way that inspires them or gives them additional insight. If I'm not able to do that, then I will likely discard or forget about them as we don't synchronize very well and we will only cause each other further distress.
 

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I'm with Lad. I generally am interested in their stories at first, and then most of the time I find that I don't feel connected, and then I kind of zone out or just nod my head mechanically. I tell myself to listen, and that even though this particular person might mean nothing to me and I might be bored out of my skull, they might say something that will teach me something, or something I can take with me for my benefit. Kind of selfish, but so is pouring your heart out to me unsolicited. I agree again with Lad that I sort of enjoy it when I find I have something to say, someway to advise them or inspire them. Unfortunately, a lot of times they don't seem to be looking for that, because when I start to do it, they don't even appear to be listening. If they are listening though, and the conversation is not just one-sided, and I'm actually involved and my input valued, then I do enjoy hearing what they have to say.
 

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I feel good when people tell me more about themselves, I am curious as to what people hide and such. When people confide in me I feel good indeed, I feel like I'm doing something right for once, I feel important to that person, I feel like I have their back when they need me, and that makes me feel, really really good, I never really stopped to think if it's blowing my ego up, which it doesn't seem to be, but anyways. . . I usually disconnect if I feel someones just giving me meager smalltalk with little depth, shits boring.... I could go on and on and on, but that's getting too personal.
 

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If I would attribute it to anything it wouldn't be super powers but simply abilities of the human-like alien race that I must surely belong to.

Joking aside, I know perfectly well that it comes down to interest, like op said. I've never felt pride because some people confide in me. To be honest it's always scared me a little. Though interested me at the same time.

However, if it's superficial small-talk, like what my colleague is cooking for her dinner party tomorrow, I'm very uninterested and will only reply politely and not participate to the conversation (which is actually mostly because I can't figure out what I'd say right on the spot).
 

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Just this morning in class, I reported that when I told someone I had an assignment to do a project on a social issue within a community, she immediately started speaking about her experiences being the only Hispanic family in her neighborhood. They were all impressed. Apparently, it's hard to get people to open up... usually... like that... :blushed: I'm gonna be the best anthropologist ever.

But yes, people have been known to take advantage of my... temperament and skill set, and overload me quite a bit.
 

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Whenever I'm alone with my mother and my brother, they automatically talk talk talk talk talk about everything going on in their lives, especially my mother. I try to listen attentively and be emotionally involved the whole time but I'm only human. I rarely ever speak about anything myself.
 

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People used to do this all the time with me, but there was definitely that feeling that I was a 'fix' for them. Throughout secondary school people I didn't know that well would tell me their private feelings and it seemed kinda strange when they didn't really speak to me in much other context. I often wondered what prompted them to tell me this stuff because loads of them said stuff like 'You know, I never expected you to be this serious deep-down' but if I didn't give off that kind of aura then why did they come to me..? :confused:

Even now there are still some people who just unload stuff to me like I make them feel safe or something. I give more advice these days than just sympathising though, so maybe that puts more people off or something?
 

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I'd rather be the fun buddy than the good therapist any day.
I'd rather be the good therapist. My dream job would be a confession booth priest.

I like to solve emotional people problems because that's my niche. Probably the same kind of rush an INTx gets by solving a numbers puzzle or Edison got when he created the light bulb. I genuinely like the inner workings of people. All people. Especially the downtrodden, underestimated, rejected, neglected and villians. It's fun for me to help people sort through difficult situations and help them see what actions they can take to improve their situation. I've been this way my whole life. I used to create imaginary relationship issues between my stuffed animals just so I could sit them down and council them through it :crazy: LOL. It's like yeeeessssssss!!!!! I helped somebody today. Wooooo hoooo!!!!! The world's a better place.

In my experience if a perfect stranger pours their heart out to me I go into it knowing they're not going to want to talk to me afterward. I really don't mind. I can count my closest friends on one hand. If everyone I connected with became my bff I'd feel bad, like I was neglecting them. But I do like that people come up to me and dish their woes. That tells me I'm doing a good job projecting kindness and concern. It's like when someone comes up to you and asks a question about how to calculate percentages or for help with their sudoku puzzle. That means you're doing a good job of projecting intellect and analytical reasoning. It does add a little extra hop to my skip when someone approachs me for help.

:wink: good question.
 
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